Mystery plant not Tapeinia pumila

David Ehrlich
Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:50:19 PDT
Dear PBS members,
I need some help with a plant; I received the corms from BX 175.  They were contributed by LynnMakelaunder the name of Ixia pumilis.  I thought that might be a misspelling of Ixia pumila, a synonym for Tapeinia pumila, which this plant clearly is not.  It doesn’t even look South American.  Using the key in The Irisfamily by Goldblatt & Manning, it keys out to Hesperantha.  Flowering started March 22 and continued for a few weeks.  Here is a description of the plant —
Plant:                 26 cm. × 12 cm.
Leaves:              several, all basal, distichous, equitant, unifacial, plane, with a single prominent midvein, 20-25 cm. × 1 cm.; edges parallel, tip acute.
Stem:                 terete, naked, glabrous, with a singe branch, reddish at base, green further up, 23 cm. × 2 mm.  Bracts at the branch: 2, unequal; outer 5 cm. ± green; inner 1.5 cm. ± hyaline.
Inflorescence:   a series (3-8) of sessile, single-flowered rhipidia spaced alternately along the distal part of the stem; outer spathe ~1cm., green with hyaline tip; inner much smaller with 2 green ribs.
Flower:              coral-colored with dark red veining, actinomorphic, limb ovate, 2 cm. × 6 mm.; tube 7 mm. × 1.5 mm.  Each flower lasts several days, opening each morning and closing up at night.
Androecium:     Anthers 3, equal, linear, ~3 mm., attached near the sagitate base.  Filaments ~7 mm., free, inserted on the perianth tube at its mouth.
Gynoecium:       Style 3 branched at the mouth of the floral tube; branches linear, ~5 mm., spreading, stigmatic most of their length, open at the tip; a dark red vein runs the length of the abaxial surface of the style branches and is visible at the open tip.  Ovary hidden within the spathes, so not described.
Corm:                 oblate, tanish, 1.5 cm. Ø × 1 cm. with a fibrous coat; cormlets 4mm. × 5 mm.

I have included some photos of the plant in Picasa:…

Can any of you help me name the plant?

Thank you all, 
David E.

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